back to article Mars One's certain-death space jolly shortlists 1,000 wannabe explorers

The Mars One project has whittled its 200,000 video applicants down to just 1,058, who will compete for a place on the entirely hypothetical one-way trip to the Red Planet to establish a human colony. The chosen few will be taking part in a reality-TV style competition to cut them down to the final 40 candidates hoping to be the …

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Coffee/keyboard

Surely most of these are Trolls

I can't see why 200000 people would seriously apply, cutting yourself off from everything you know is a serious decision.

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JDX
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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

200k people is about one person in a thousand if you assume about 1/3 of the world's population have internet connection and are in a sensible age bracket.

The spirit of adventure is not dead.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

I tend to agree, these people are volunteering to go into space with others who value the people around them so little that they are prepared to just leave, they are also people who are prepared to forfeit their own lives for "an adventure". Would you trust your survival on someone who thinks like that? Because you will have to rely upon those people for survival.

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

IIRC it cost money to apply, you'd have to be a rather dedicated troll to pony up real money...

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

> Because you will have to rely upon those people for survival.

How is the view from olduvai gorge, george?

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

> I can't see why 200000 people would seriously apply, cutting yourself off from everything you know is a serious decision.

Yes, it is -- but I'd go. Not only might I be part of the making of history, real historybook stuff, but since average life expectancy is probably 20 years lower on Mars I might even cheat my genes out of the agonizing death by Alzheimer's they've got planned for me.

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls?

If the applicants are all politicians, estate agents and traffic wardens, I'd give a donation to get them to Mars.

In fact why not just send them anyway.

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls?

@LarsG: How about advertising executives? Oh, wait, thy are needed to run the show here on Earth...

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@ Vociferous

" I might even cheat my genes out of the agonizing death by Alzheimer's they've got planned for me."

I've read your posts. It's too late for that.

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

Why not? People have done so for centuries - set out on near suicidal missions to see places they couldn't even know existed - we would not be where we are now, we would not know what's across the big body of water if all humans had no sense of curiosity, some intense desire to search for something more, something that's not evident - and I imagine you'd want to team up with like minded souls - the motives are secondary.

Truth is, life nowadays can be dull - full of boring routines, often with very little meaning - what is wrong with wanting more then your average office hamster wheel?

As for death, we will all die, some sooner the others - you don't know what's in store for you, and when. Human life is fragile, every day you wake up and risk loosing it.

The whole project may be nothing more but a huge farce, but can you be 100% certain? Some say, it's not the destination, rather the journey that counts. Let people dream. Those dreams of the impossible are the biggest driving force in the world.

We're already living the future, future we thought was rather distant when we were kids - touch screens, holograms, PC's, robots, clones. When you think of the progress we've made in the last half a century, a trip to Mars that some of us may still be able to witness, suddenly doesn't appear to be so utopian.

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

cutting yourself off from everything you know is a serious decision.

A huge part of the world's population lives in communities not much larger than 40 people, and manages tolerably well "cut off" like that. Our budding martians would be less isolated in many ways, since they could receive digital communications (email, films) from Earth. Granted, aiming for 300-500 people would be a better longterm goal.

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Re: @ Vociferous

> I've read your posts. It's too late for that.

Too late for what? And what do you mean "put your pants on, grandpa?"

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

"A huge part of the world's population lives in communities not much larger than 40 people, and manages tolerably well "cut off" like that."

Fortunately, they all have free access to breathable air without the use of expensive, breakable technology. Most have access to water too.

Setting off across the briny deep in the hope there might be landfall somewhere is a little less daunting a prospect than setting off across the airless vacuum for somewhere where you already know you will die if one of many tech items fail. You won't be able to build an escape raft from a local trees while living off fish and coconuts.

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

If I thought for a second I had a chance of making myself fit enough to be useful to the mission I'd have applied in a heartbeat. The urge to explore is quite powerful in some of us...and somethings are entirely worth dying for. My wife feels the same way; we'd have both been quite happy to make the trip, regardless of the risks.

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls?

Dear LarsG

As one of the applicants, I'm neither a lawyer, politician, estate agent or traffic warden. Just a scientist with an awareness of the fragility of life on Earth. But if you want to be rid of the crazy visionaries, you can make a useful contribution at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mars-one-first-private-mars-mission-in-2018 and help keep this show on the road.

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

@Mag07

The vast majority of explorers did their exploration for a easily understood reason - MONEY and/or POWER. They had an idea that there are riches to be found by blazing a way to India or to that valley where the natives where hunting those beautiful beaver pelts or...

Exploration "just because" is a very recent thing. And even today many still look out for good press coverage, sponsors and a well paid tour of the talk shows.

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls?

"If the applicants are all politicians, estate agents and traffic wardens, I'd give a donation to get them to Mars."

The complement actually consists of hairdressers, TV producers, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, management consultants and telephone sanitisers.

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

They have 11 years to sort things out with their nearest and dearest.

It's a bit like when people left for the New World from Europe, you didn't expect to see those people again. With modern communications Martian settlers won't be nearly isolated the mail might take 40 minutes, but compared to sail ships that's fast.

I guess you file for divorce before the launch, and hope your crewmates are friendly.

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Pint

Pointless...

In the best possible case, these idiots will be "the first humans on Mars", until eventually someone notices that the film crew has been there, setting up, for two weeks already. History will record that a certain Pat Smith from the portable loo company was actually the first human on Mars, visiting about 12 hours before the film crew landed. Pointless.

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JDX
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"they are also people who are prepared to forfeit their own lives for "an adventure""

Just like Columbus, Livingstone, Fiennes, Aldrin or for that matter any early astronaut or air force test pilot.

Everyone has to forfeit their life in return for getting to live one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "they are also people who are prepared to forfeit their own lives for "an adventure""

All those people came back, they didn't eke out their days living off algae on a rock, billions of miles from their loved ones.

I agree with your second assertion, but that's my point - don't just chuck away your life for romanticised idea of "space adventure". I would do practically anything to go into space, but only if I knew there was a realistic chance of coming back.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "they are also people who are prepared to forfeit their own lives for "an adventure""

"billions of miles from their loved ones"

on average 140 million miles.

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls?

Telephone sanitisers?

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Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

your math is off, it is 1/10,000 with 2 billion people connected to the internet

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Fuck the ratings

I'd love to go - if I thought they'd take me. Captain Scarlet - are you serious or totally devoid of imagination?

Mad bastards maybe but trolls never. Some of us have dreamt of this since Gagarin shat his suit.

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Reasons for applying

Wanting to live on Mars is not a good reason for applying. If you want to do humiliating 'psychological' tests live on television then go for it. Lucky winners can watch the trip delayed until it is cancelled with the rest of us. Unlucky winners can be one of the first corpses to crash into Mars live on TV. I think many of those 200,000 understand the difference between what is advertised and what is available.

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Re: Fuck the ratings

Well, remember that Captain Scarlet has had some unpleasant experiences with Mars, so his antipathy to the idea is certainly understandable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fuck the ratings

Gagarin got to come back though.

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Re: Fuck the ratings

Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success. - Ernest Shackleton.

He got 5k applications. (He also supposedly filed them in 3 cabinets, "Mad", "Hopeless" and "Possible")

Same advert for a one way trip to Mars? Everybody dies some day, and there are plenty of people who'd give it a go just for the adventure, let along the honour recognition and eternal place in history as being the first expedition to Mars. Some people do get really fed up just working 9-5 Monday to Friday you know!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fuck the ratings

Safe return doubtful, vs any return - even of your remains - absolutely assured to be impossible. I think this is the crux of the matter. You may also - probably, assuming the launch/landing goes ok - not die on the same day as everyone else. What if the first dead person is the doctor? The head engineer or some other mission specialist? It's utterly irresponsible.

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Re: Fuck the ratings

> utterly irresponsible

Not to fear, Obama will ban it.

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Re: Fuck the ratings

If the doctor died I don't think anybody would be too badly concerned. As a First Aider i'm fairly convinced that a doctor couldn't do much about anything enroute that anybody else couldn't do under direction via radio link apart from keeping meticulous notes about how other people die that might advance human knowledge. I mean, your hardly going to have a doctor doing surgery...

Chief engineer might be moderately more serious, but at the end of the day your hardly reliant on Scotty saving the day when the captain demands more power from the warp drives.

Why bother returning your remains? What are people going to do with them if they did have them back, burn them and then spread the ash somewhere? Might as well just leave them on Mar, they might make a museum exhibit one day.

And if somebody who wanted to make a one way trip to Mars is irresponsible, why? What are they neglecting their responsibilities to?

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Operating remotely...

> under direction via radio link

Umm, you might not want to rely on that too much. Depending on their relative positions as they orbit, the Earth and Mars are between four and twenty-four light-minutes apart. In the time it would take to get a piece of urgent medical advice, the patient could have popped his clogs, been dehydrated for his water content a la Fremen, and consigned to the airlock.

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Re: Jonathan Richards 1

I'd strongly recommend not bothering to argue any points here. It's rather obvious people have their beliefs and wish to stick to them. You know it's a real problem when someone insists it's their right to do it even though it results in harm.

How much more so when it results in certain death? "I'm the first to drink arsenic, think of the experience and fame and honor", or "I'm the first to skydive into concert wearing only socks" would get the same result.

Mars is amazing. It's a great rock. But putting 2 feet on it accomplishes nothing if those 2 feet are certain to die in the process. All such arguments against it vanish if there is some attempt at making a return craft (AKA the moon landings, ISS and others).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Reasons for applying

"Unlucky winners can be one of the first corpses to crash into Mars live on TV..."

Is it still live TV if everyone on the show is dead?

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Angel

Re: Jonathan Richards 1

If I were to go to Mars and arrive dead, than my remains will be a good beginning to establishing a microbial colony on Mars.

Please note: I don't think I've read anywhere that Mars One is about establishing a human colony on Mars, just a colony. All those millions of bacteria in each of us, with all that lovely food & water that we contain...

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Big Brother Mars

At least the weekly evictions should be interesting...

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Medical Officer. *Chief* Medical Officer.

"The next stages in the selection process will include rigorous simulations and physical and emotional testing of the candidates, according to Norbert Kraft, the foundation's chief medical officer and homeopath, who requested that we address him as 'Bones'."

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Re: Medical Officer. *Chief* Medical Officer.

Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor not an astronaut!

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Re: Medical Officer. *Chief* Medical Officer.

"Norbert Kraft, the foundation's chief medical officer and homeopath"

Homeopath!?! Mysteriously, I've suddenly lost all interest in the mission.

You'd think that my dilution of enthusiasm would make me keener, but nope, I no longer give a damn.

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Re: Medical Officer. *Chief* Medical Officer.

Not a homeopath! He has worked for the Russian Space Agency, the Japanese Space Agency and NASA. New age types these people are not.

I think you may have him confused with someone else.

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In a heart beat

I would go but not with three wannabe spacehyped BigBrother celebs.

The size of the projected craft at 5 metres diameter is laughable given the problems with radiation shielding and the total volume will in no way provide for enough tools and materiel to enable them to survive for any appreciable length of time There are also the problems of prolonged weightlesness not only on the muscles but on the bones. There are exercises designed to help mitigate those problems but ultimately the crew are going to be permanently on a planet with only 38% of Earth's gravity there must be means to simulate 1G in order to maintain normal body function. Admittedly the gravitational strain in general will be less but there is still the question of moving mass when constructing or working which will still have the same inertia.

I probably won't live to see most of the problems addressed but if they were I would without a doubt be up for it.

Still for the Mars 1 crew at least they will go down in history just not too sure what as.

I guess being famous, even if it is for being a twat is too difficult to pass over for some people.

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Alien

Re: In a heart beat 1G ?

Why do they need to retain 1G capability ???

It's a ONE WAY JOURNEY

they won't be coming back down the gravity well .....

they just need to adapt (sucesfully) to their new home's version of 1G - the results of that particular experiment are probably enough on it's own to justify the entire cost

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Re: In a heart beat

> but ultimately the crew are going to be permanently on a planet with only 38% of Earth's gravity there must be means to simulate 1G in order to maintain normal body function

There apparently hasn't been any research on the effect of low (such as Mars') gravity on the human body, so we have no idea how it affects the body vs microgravity (weightlessness). For all we know the human body may be able to sustain itself indefinitely at 0.4g with little or no ill effect.

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Re: In a heart beat

> There apparently hasn't been any research on the effect of low (such as Mars') gravity on the human body

Yes, because there's no way to do such research. Earth has 1G, space has zero G, to get anything else for long periods of time you need to go to another planet. That is one of the big questions wrt colonizing Mars: is 0.4G strong enough for permanent human residence? We wont know until someone's tried.

Incidentally, Luna's gravity is 0.4x that of Mars (1/17th of Earth's). In case anyone was thinking of settling there.

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Boffin

"Certain death"...

"Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive." - Elbert Hubbard

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:::Horse::>Cart

1058 selected applicants, rigorious ment/phys/emot testing (..for broadcast also?) to trim the numbers some more.... however....

No plans or construction schedule for a spacecraft that will take years to even build once begun (probably in orbit, yeh?), and only a robotic probe being sent out first in.... 4 years from now.

How old will these fools actually be when "their" spacecraft (specially built with loads of cameras and digital storage) is finally finished? (Assuming that even magnetic-field radiation shielding is perfected by then..).

Clearly, they are idiots if they are going to sign up for this without any ship even close to *begun*.

We'll probably get a season of "Mars One Simulator" on the telly where Bas & Co. pack two dozen rubes into a newly renovated "BioSphere 3"/Mars Spacecraft Mock-up out in the Arizona desert and force them to live inside it for half a year -on camera, natch- before a few of them crack and either kill someone or escape the confines, only with lifelong psychological trauma.

Colosseum Televiso Psychologica ?

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Re: :::Horse::>Cart

"We'll probably get a season of "Mars One Simulator"

But would the participants know that it was only a simulator*? And even if they did know would we be told that they didn't**?

*Assuming they select for gullibility things that might be obvious to us may not occur to the so-called cosmonauts.

** TV audiences self-select for gullibility.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: :::Horse::>Cart

1058 selected applicants, rigorious ment/phys/emot testing (..for broadcast also?) to trim the numbers some more

....

We'll probably get a season of "Mars One Simulator" on the telly

More like Takeshi's Castle in Space

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